|Weekly News Digest
October 6, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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Altarama Introduces RefChatter for Libraries
Altarama Information Systems (www.altarama.com) announced availability of RefChatter, a new module that joins RefTracker, DeskStats, VRLplus and SMSreference in the Altarama suite of integrated products for managing online and personal reference services in libraries. RefChatter is a totally web-based system for delivering online reference services to the increasingly large number of patrons who use instant messaging (IM) as their preferred electronic communication method.
Designed by librarians and library automation experts specifically for the library industry, RefChatter addresses the issues that have prevented many libraries from offering IM-based online reference until now. First, while patrons can use a wide variety of standard IM software, RefChatter’s unique IM aggregator and routing technology allows one or more reference staffers to chat with multiple patrons from multiple queues simultaneously. Second, RefChatter requires only a standard browser on the library side, so IT department concerns about loading IM software disappear. Third, transcripts are available for statistical and quality analysis. And finally, a library-customizable widget can be inserted in the library’s webpages so patrons without IM software can be served equally well.
The company says the underlying technology that makes RefChatter possible is a combination of open source components and some developments from the LibraryH3lp team. RefChatter can make IM work for libraries—small, large or consortia—because they can staff according to volume of IM traffic with a single, simple web-based tool that aggregates IM sessions from the AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, ICQ, and QQ networks, as well as RefChatter and Meebo-me widget users.
Source: Altarama Information Systems
YouTube Adds Retail Links
Do you love that song on the YouTube video? Just hit the "click-to-buy" button, and it’s yours.
YouTube just announced its first steps into the world of ecommerce. The click-to-buy links are available on the watch page under the video along with the other community features Share, Favorite, Comment On, and Respond To. Viewers can now buy products including music, movies, and books that are related to the videos they watch on YouTube.
For starters, links from iTunes and Amazon.com are being embedded on the videos from companies such as EMI Music and Electronic Arts. YouTube bills this venture as "just the beginning of building a broad, viable eCommerce platform for users and partners on YouTube." The goal is to present useful, relevant products to "a large, yet targeted audience, and generate additional revenue from their content on YouTube beyond the advertising we serve against their videos," according to the YouTube blog announcement.
The new ecommerce links are now only available to users in the U.S., but plans are in the works to go global after the viability is proven with the domestic community. Parent company Google, Inc. bought YouTube in 2006 for more than $1.7 billion.
Source: YouTube (www.youtube.com)
Softcover Books Enhance Springerís Ebook Collection
Ebook users now have more options than ever thanks to Springer Science+Business Media. Springer is launching MyCopy, a pilot project designed to boost services for ebook users.
Registered library patrons can now order softcover copies for their personal use of those Springer books that the library has purchased. Users can just click on the MyCopy button on SpringerLink. The first wave of the pilot project includes more than 20 libraries and research institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Users can begin placing orders in November 2008.
MyCopy currently extends to more than 11,000 electronic Springer books published since 2005. The cover of the book is printed in color; the inside is printed in black and white. The universal price of $24.95 for each book includes shipping and handling in the U.S. and Canada. Springer, in conjunction with the print-on-demand provider, will be coordinating the ordering and shipping.
According to Olaf Ernst, president of Springer’s eproduct management and innovation, "Springer is well known for providing users with content in the format they like most, and MyCopy is yet another example of how we are making our eBook packages even more attractive for the science and research communities."
Springer Science+Business Media is the largest publisher of science, technology, and medical (STM) books, the second-largest publisher of STM journals, and the largest B2B publisher in the German-language area. The company publishes more than 1,700 journals and more than 5,500 new books annually, in addition to having the largest STM ebook collection worldwide.
Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com)
askSam Announces Free Presidential Debate eBook
A free, searchable database of the presidential debate transcript has been released by askSam Systems. The askSam database contains a full-text searchable archive of the full debate between Republican candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Barak Obama. You can search, browse, and analyze the 2008 presidential debate online at www.asksam.com/ebooks/2008-presidential-debates. askSam will make available at this same site free searchable versions of upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates.
In addition to this database, askSam has prepared free searchable versions of other government reports, legislative and political texts, works of literature, and more, including the following:
- Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (www.asksam.com/ebooks/eesa-2008)
- State of the Union Addresses
- The 9/11 Commission Report
- U.S. Copyright Law
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Basel II Accord
You can find more information on these and other files at www.asksam.com/ebooks.
askSam Systems publishes software that allows you to collect, organize, and distribute information. It is widely used by researchers, businesses, and information professionals to manage their information.
Source: askSam Systems
ABC-CLIO Gains Perpetual License to Publish Greenwood Titles
ABC-CLIO (www.abc-clio.com) and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (www.hmhpub.com) announced an agreement granting ABC-CLIO a perpetual license to use the imprints and publish the titles of Greenwood Publishing Group, including Greenwood Press, Praeger Publishers, Praeger Security International, and Libraries Unlimited. In addition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will transfer certain assets, including copyrights, contracts, and inventory, of Greenwood Publishing Group to ABC-CLIO. This agreement is effective immediately. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
This agreement combines ABC-CLIO’s 5 decades as a publisher of print and electronic reference products with Greenwood Publishing Group’s extensive list of more than 18,000 reference titles, academic and general interest books, texts, books for librarians and other professionals, and electronic resources. The agreement is designed to allow ABC-CLIO to increase and enhance its high-quality offerings for the education and library markets.
Nursing@Ovid Opens Portal Door to Health Resources
Ovid just rolled out its Nursing@Ovid, a new portal that provides access to premium nursing and allied health full-text resources. Nursing@Ovid, which is built on OvidSP’s search and discovery platform architecture, lets users find answers to real-world clinical and research questions quickly from any location, from classroom to library to nursing work stations. The portal is described as an "evolution of a ‘vertical’ solution to scholarly literature searching."
Using Ovid’s new proprietary-controlled vocabulary and associated nursing lexicon, users have access to precise information with a specific focus on nursing and allied health terminology. Nursing@Ovid also offers the natural language processing and flexible search refinements and management workflow tools available in the OvidSP architecture to integrate a range of premium content. Ovid Universal Search technology, which is built into Nursing@Ovid, also extends a user’s search by combining content from non-Ovid platforms and importing search results from content holdings in a user’s research, including PubMed and subscriptions such as CINAHL.
Nursing@Ovid includes the following components:
- Ovid Nursing Subject Thesaurus
- Ovid Nursing Database
- Ovid Universal Search
- Premium Full-Text Resources
- Access to the Nursing Advisor
- Nursing-Specific Search Filters
Subscribers will have access to a core set of content resources that include the bibliographic database and the journal components listed above.
Source: Ovid (www.ovid.com)
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